Non-compliance of environmental conditions: Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency to issue notice to all housing societies of Islamabad

Islamabad, January 10, 2018 (PPI-OT):Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) Ministry of Climate Change is responsible for implementation of the provision of Pakistan Environmental Act, 1997 (the act) and rules/regulations made there under. All development projects located in the limits of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) are required to obtain environmental approval before commencement by submitting initial Environmental Examination (IEE) / Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports to Pak-EPA.

Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency issued notices to 26 Housing Societies in Islamabad on non-compliance of conditions laid down in environmental approvals i.e. proper disposal of solid waste, liquid waste, chemical waste, hazardous materials, construction of Sewerage Treatment Plants (STP), rain water harvesting, ground water recharging etc and submission of quarterly/ monthly progress reports of the development project. It has been observed by this agency that the proponents of the projects/ developers are neither attending the conditions contained in their environmental approval nor submitting compliance/ progress reports. Consequently, it creates serious environmental problems like air pollution, polluted water bodies, different diseases, solid, / liquid waste issues and cutting of trees etc in capital city.

The Director General Pak-EPA took serious notice on this state of affairs and decided to issue notices to the managements of all housing societies and called upon for personal hearing under section 16 of the Act to ascertain the reasons for non compliance of the environmental conditions laid down in environmental approvals of each project. So far, the managements of 9 such housing societies have been heard by the Pak-EPA and 4 housing societies have been issued Environmental Protection Orders (EPO) for violation of environmental conditions (i.e M/s Zaraj Housing Group, M/s Margalla View Housing Scheme, M/s Soan Garden Housing Societies, M/s Park view Enclave City). These 4 housing societies have been directed to immediately install Sewerage Treatment Plants (STP), constitution of environmental managements committees, ensure rain water harvesting as well as ground water recharging and proper collection/ disposal of solid waste.

They have also been directed to stop constructions with in their projects till the compliance of Environmental Protection Orders. Pak-EPA has further decided to file complaints/ cases against violators in the Environmental Tribunal under the Act. The Environmental Tribunal has powers to impose fine up to Rs. one million and rupees Hundred Thousand per day for continuous contraventions, cancellation of environmental approval besides imprisonment. Pak-EPA had decided to take legal action as per requirement of the law for protection of the environment in capital city.

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